The majority of home builders in the summer Big Builder Online survey are striving to build more energy-efficient homes, with 81.3% of respondents saying 76% to 100% of the new homes they have built or plan to build this year will meet the minimum Energy Star certification standards.

And many respondents said they feel Energy Star standards give them a competitive edge. "[It's] the best way to differentiate from used homes and foreclosures," noted one respondent.

Another 5.3% of respondents said 26% to 50% of their homes this year will meet Energy Star standards, while 5.3% said they are aiming for only 11% to 25% and 5.3% at less than 10%.

However, owing to the housing slump, only 18.8% of those surveyed said they build more Energy Star homes in 2009 than in the year before. A total of 40% said they built fewer Energy Star homes, another 40% said the number was about the same.

Still, a large majority (more than 80%) said most of the homes they plan to build in 2011 will be Energy Star compliant. As one respondent put it, "We have taken the initiative to move toward energy efficiency, so it only makes sense to build 100% of our homes to this standard." Said another, "We only build Energy Star homes."